IBM Project Debater

March 2021

In a new paper published in Nature magazine, IBM sets out Project Debater, an autonomous AI system that can debate competitively with humans.

The system, which draws on millions of news articles, is becoming much more sophisticated, prompting concerns about the real need for such a technology and the extent to which it could be manipulated in a real-world setting.

IBM researchers in Israel have been working on the programme since 2012.

A corresponding Nature magazine editorial makes the case for oversight and greater transparency of language models such as Project Debater and OpenAI's GPT-3 in order to reduce the potential for manipulation and harm.

Operator: IBM
Country: Israel
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Debate with humans
Technology: NLP/text analysis; Sentiment analysis; Text to speech
Issue: Appropriateness/need; Dual/multi-use
Opacity: Governance; Black box